A bricklaying apprenticeship will teach you the skills necessary to become a professional bricklayer, but before you seek such a position out, you should understand that it is likely you will spend a few years being an apprentice. This means lower pay and hard work, but in the end, you will be a licensed bricklayer who can earn a good salary at an interesting and rewarding job. A bricklaying apprenticeship may be offered at a local community college or vocational school, as well as from local bricklaying unions or even government entities, depending on where you live.
Joining a union has a few distinct advantages; after you complete a bricklaying apprenticeship, union membership will help guarantee a good salary and benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings. It offers protection from employment abuse as well, though you will need to pay union dues and if a strike occurs, you will also need to go without work. Choosing a bricklaying apprenticeship offered by a union usually requires that you join that union, so be sure this is the course you want to take before applying for such an apprenticeship.
Other bricklaying apprenticeship opportunities may be available, especially in areas where no unions are present. Local colleges may offer a bricklaying apprenticeship, as might certain government agencies. The requirements for applying for such a position can vary significantly, so it will be important to do a bit of research beforehand. While no formal education is necessary for many apprenticeship positions, some entities may require that you complete a high school education in order to be considered for an apprenticeship. Prior experience in construction or other fields related to bricklaying will probably be preferred, though not necessary.
While in high school, a good way to prepare yourself for a bricklaying apprenticeship is to take jobs on construction sites. Bricklayers will often be present on such sites, and you may be able to job-shadow or at least observe the bricklaying process. This will give you experience as well as a good bullet point on a resumé, which will make you a more valuable candidate for an apprenticeship position. When in school, be sure to try for good grades, especially in math and science, as these subjects will pertain to some of the techniques and processes you will use when becoming a bricklayer. After you graduate, try to learn as much as possible about the bricklaying process and be prepared for the rigors of the job; get into good physical shape to prepare for the heavy lifting and physical rigors of the job.